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PN uses emergency proclamation to throw accountability and good governance out the window

Press Statement
12th January 2021

Let’s get this straight: Yes, the government needs to buck up to nip the rising cases of Covid-19. But no, it doesn’t need to declare an emergency to do its job right for once.

The combined Movement Control Order (MCO) and emergency proclamation are to extend Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s political life given that he has lost Parliament majority, and that more UMNO lawmakers are considering withdrawing support for the premier.

Isn’t this rather telling – that the executive functions together with the judiciary, but the legislature is technically suspended till further notice?

The role of Parliament is critical at this time in order to ensure transparency, human rights, and democracy in state affairs.

This is a clever way for the executive to bypass all forms of accountability and good governance practices.

We are not an island. The world is watching. EU-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAM Malaysia) CEO Sven Schneider has said that there are many concerns about Malaysia being a viable investment destination.

He also said that “a few nice words and window-dressing” don’t make the mark.

The international business chamber chief had earlier warned that a total lockdown could cause the country’s economy to collapse.

It’s therefore ironic that Muhyiddin is using the emergency to justify regenerating the economy.

Contrary to what the PM says, jobs and business losses will increase and might lead the country further into poverty and hopelessness.

I watched Muhyiddin’s remarks about empowering the military, police, and immigration to detain PATI (loosely translated to mean those who enter the country illegally).

I can only hope this won’t translate into a witch hunt against undocumented workers and refugees in the country.

In fact, I hope Muhyiddin will make that clear because ensuring the safety and protection of migrants, refugees, and stateless persons in the country are key to overcoming rising Covid-19 infections.

In short, initiatives by the government must be focused on combating the rising number of cases and looking at durable ways to support people and businesses, prevent job losses, look into mental health provisions, prevent suicides and an increase in domestic violence, protect vulnerable communities, ensure food aid reaches targeted communities including refugees and migrants, look into increased support for women-led households, and enhance support for our front liners.

It cannot be about Muhyiddin using state powers to secure his position.

Charles Santiago
MP for Klang

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